Often facing double standards steeped in ageism and sexism, many women over 50 find themselves having to redefine themselves as they get older. The Spinster is now The Sassy Single. The Depressed Divorcee… now The Dignified Diva. The Married and Mundane… now Mature, Marvelous, and a Mrs. Yet, no matter what great title we give ourselves we find that there is something very real about getting older. Aging is a natural and beautiful aspect of life, not something that we should be afraid of. We at Providence House believe in graceful aging through a balanced senior lifestyle.
When it comes to aging, there are things true for both genders. Specific to women, studies have shown that older women are likely to have more chronic, ongoing health problems than men. Older women are also more likely to develop multiple health conditions as well. While there is no definitive reason for this, chronic conditions that top the list for women are arthritis, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. If that was not enough, older women are also more at risk for developing cognitive or memory problems, causing them to need assistance to carry out daily activities. All this makes maintaining an active senior lifestyle all the more important.
Along with an increase in aches and pains, some obvious signs of aging for women are:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- Irregular bleeding due to the onset of menopause
- Breast tenderness
- Wrinkled and sagging skin
- Hair loss
- Increase risk for heart disease
- Increase in the inflammatory response leading to joint pain
As women age, there are changes in various hormone levels, a decrease in the elasticity of the skin, and because there is an increased need for different medications, many women report having dental problems as well.
While some bodily changes are inevitable, there are other factors that speed up the aging process. Smoking, stress, alcohol, and caffeine use, poor sleep habits, and poor diet can contribute to feeling the effects of aging. Also, living in areas that have elevated levels of toxins and pollutants can bring on changes to the cells and tissues that mimic the aging process.
Even if you are feeling well and have come to terms with the different changes going on in the body, there are things older women can do to thrive with a balanced senior lifestyle.
- Keep your appointments with your medical provider. This includes being screened for health and emotional risks that increase with age.
- Take medications and supplements consistently and as directed.
- Eat a varied and well-balanced diet that includes healthy fats.
- Exercise your body and brain.
- Practice good sleep hygiene, such as getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Quit smoking.
- Lower alcohol and caffeine consumption. Some medications are negatively impacted by alcohol and caffeine use.
- Drink plenty of water.
Aging is just part of life, it is unavoidable. Instead of trying to run from it or delay it we at Providence House fully support embracing the aging process. Through a balanced and active senior lifestyle, women can grow into their golden years with grace and full of memories. For more senior lifestyle tips or to explore our active and thriving community please feel free to contact us today!